By Esther Morales
In a time where it seems like the world could be ending any day now, the second season of “The Umbrella Academy” couldn’t have hit Netflix at a better time. The live-action adaptation of the 2016 graphic novel by My Chemical Romance lead singer, Gerard Way, returned July 31, throwing returning fans and newcomers into a binging frenzy.
The story of the Hargreeves siblings starts in 1989, when 43 women around the world gave birth even though they weren’t pregnant when the day started. Seven of these children contain supernatural abilities, and were adopted by Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who formed the Umbrella Academy and trained them to save the world.
In the show’s first season the disbanded team, now adults, returned home after the death of their father, and viewers followed the siblings not only trying to find answers to his death, but trying to stop a quickly impending apocalypse. The second season picks up after the siblings attempt to time travel, only to realize that they brought the inevitable doomsday with them.
We got a taste of the Hargreeves’ unconventional powers in the previous season, but it left some fans disappointed that they didn’t live up to the original strength portrayed in the graphic novels. The new season gives fans what they’ve been waiting for.
Right from the opening scene of the first episode, “Right Back Where We Started,” the action sequence shows how much the siblings’ powers have grown since we last saw them as they battle Soviet troops.
Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), who has the ability of mind-control by uttering the phrase “I heard a rumor,” was rarely seen using her powers in the show’s first season, but overcomes her guilt and self-doubt to fight alongside her family.
The most recent season brings newfound confidence to each of the siblings that drives the story and creates a substantial shift in tone. Unlike the first season, which dealt with the skew of heavier topics like depression, loss, drug abuse and child abuse, season two gives each sibling a lighter, more fleshed-out storyline for viewers to follow.
When first watching “The Umbrella Academy,” it wasn’t hard to quickly identify that the most beloved character was Klaus (Robert Sheehan), because he seemed to be the only one of the siblings with a distinct and layered personality. With season two, it’s much easier to become emotionally attached to the rest of the characters when they each have their own subplots filled with personal goals, hardships or love. Not to mention, there was comedic relief coming from almost everyone this season, not just Sheehan.
If you felt like the second season flew by in comparison to the first, there’s a good reason for it. The entire new season was designed as a whole to be more binge-worthy than the prior, which worked extremely well in its favor. Compared to the first season, these new episodes only run for forty-five minutes compared to the usual hour. Showrunner Steve Blackman shared in a press tour that he and his team felt there were points in the first season that were lagging, and the shorter episodes would be more appealing to viewers as they adjusted to fit the same amount of plot and action in smaller doses.
Living in a time when the success of a show heavily relies on how binge-worthy it is, they couldn’t have made a better decision. There was never a point in season two where you felt like you could walk away from the TV, because you’d miss something vital to the story. It explains why “The Umbrella Academy” has stayed in Netflix’s Top 10 in the U.S. for the past three weeks. This show is an incredible adaptation, with characters and a unique premise no one can compete with.